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118 THE FAKENHAM GHOST.

Or hast thy good-woman, if one thou hast,

Ever here in Cornwall been?
For an if she have, I 'II venture my life

She has drank of the well of St. Keyne.

I have left a good woman who never was here,

The stranger he made reply, But that my draught should be better for that,

I pray you answer me why.

St. Keyne, quoth the countryman, many a time

Drank of this chrystal well,
And before the angel summoned her,

She laid on the water a spell.

If the husband of this gifted well ,

Shall drink before his wife,
A happy man thenceforth is he,

For he shall be master for life.

But if the wife should drink of it first—■'

God help the husband then! The stranger stoop'd to the well of St. Keyne,

And drank of the water again.

You drank of the well, I warrant, betimes?

He to the countryman said; But the countryman sinil'd as the stranger spake,

And sheepishly shook his head.

I hasten'd as soon as the wedding was done,

And left my wife in the porch; •
But i' faith she had been wiser than me,

For she took a bottle to church.

THE FAKENHAM GHOST.

(bloomfield.)

The lawns were dry in Euston Park;
(Here truth inspires my tale)

THE FAKENHAM GHOST. 119

The lonely foot-path still and dark,
Led over hill and dale.

Benighted was an ancient dame,

And fearful haste she made To gain the vale of Fakenham,

And hail its willow shade.

Her footsteps knew no idle stops,

But follow'd faster still;
And echo'd to the darksome copse

That whisper'd on the hill.

Where clam'rous rooks, yet scarcely hush'd,

Bespoke a peopled shade;
And many a wing the foliage brush'd,

And hov'ring circuits made.

The dappled herd of grazing deer

That sought the shades by day, Now started from her path with fear,

And gave the stranger way.

Darker it grew ; and darker fears

Came o'er her troubled mind;
When now, a short quick step she hears

Come patting close behind.

She turn'd ; it stopt!—nought could she see

Upon the gloomy plain
But as she strove the sprite to flee,

She heard the same again.

Now terror seiz'd her quaking frame:

For, where the path was bare,
The trotting ghost kept on the same!

She mutter'd many a prayer.

Yet once again, amidst her fright,
She tried what sight could do;

120 THE FAKENHAM GHOST.

When through the cheating glooms of night A Monster stood in view.

Regardless of whate'er she felt,

It followed down the plain!
She own'd her sins, and down she knelt,

And said her prayers again.

Then on she sped ; and hope grew strong,

The white park gate in view;
Which pushing hard, so long it swung

That ghost and all pass'd through.

Loud fell the gate against the post!

Her h< art-strings like to crack: For much she fear'd the grisly ghost

Would leap upon her back.

Still on, pat, pat, the goblin went,

As it had done before;
Her strength and resolution spent,

She fainted at the door.

Out came her husband, much surprised:

Out came her daughter dear; Good-natur'd Souls! all unadvis'd

Of what they had to fear.

The candle's gleam piere'd through the night,
Some short space o'er the green;

And there the little trotting sprite
Distinctly might be seen.

An ass's foal had lost its dam

Within the spacious park; And, simple as the playful lamb,

Had follow'd in the dark.

No goblin he ; no imp of sin:
No crimes had ever known.

^ REPORT OF AN ADJUDGED CASE. 121

They took the shaggy stranger in, *

And rear'd him as their own.

. - 'r "*"*.' His little hoofs woold rattle round

Upon the cottage floor:

The matron learn'd to love the sound,

That frightened her before.

A favourite the ghost became;

And 't was his fate to thrive: .

And long heliv'd, and spread his fame,

And kept the joke alive.'

For many a laugh went through the vale,

And some conviction too:— Each thought some other goblin tale, • Perhaps, was just as true.

REPORT OF AN ADJUDGED CASE.

(cowpsh.)

Between nose and eyes a strange contest arose^
The spectacles set them unhappily wrong;

The point in dispute was. as all the world knows,
To which the said spectacles ought to belong.

So the tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause
With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of learn-
ing: »

While chief baron ear sat to balance the laws,
So fam'd for his talent in nicely discerning.

In behalf of the nose, it will quickly appear,
And your lordship, he said, will undoubtedly find

That the nose has had spectacles always in wear,
Which amounts to possession time out of mind.
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122 CANUTE AND THE OCEAN.

Then, holding the spectacles up to the court— Your lordship observes they are made with a straddle,

As wide as the ridge of the nose is ; in short,
Design'd to sit close to it, just like a saddle.

Again, would your lordship a moment suppose
('Tisacase that has happen'd, and may be again)

That if the visage or countenance had not a nose, Pray who would or who could wear spectacles then?

On the whole it appears, and my argument shews, With a reasoning the court will never condemn,

That the spectacles plainly were made for the nose,
And the nose was as plainly intended for them.

Then shifting his side as a lawyer knows how,
He pleaded again in behalf of the eyes;

But what were his arguments few people know, For the court did not think they were equally wise.

So his lordship decreed, with a grave solemn tone,
Decisive and clear, without one if or but— -

That whenever the nose put his spectacles on,
By day-light or candle-light-eyes should be shut.

CANUTE AND THE OCEAN.

(PIHDAB.)

Canute was by his nobles taught, to fancy,
That, by a kind of royal necromancy.

He had the pow'r, old Ocean to controul;
Down rush'd the royal Dane upon the strand,
Andissu'd, like a Solomon, command:
Poor soul!

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